Light Weekend 2023: 4 excursions to Trikala, Evritania, Kalavryta and Arcadia

Vouraikos River
Christmas is that time of year when most people more or less put aside their worries of the year, put on their festive clothes and try to be out of the house as much as possible. Whether it’s on walks or outings. Without even realizing how the days pass, New Year’s Eve arrives (which you can read about here as well as where you can travel even though 2023 has arrived) and time changes. But just because it’s changing doesn’t mean the holidays are over. As does the opportunity for excursions. The Three Days of Christmas is here and on you can read about 4 excursions that promise to make the 2023 Christmas holiday a memorable one. Until the next outing.

Trikala, Elati and Pertouli

Are you of the urban (but picturesque) landscape? Are you into winter excursions that combine road trips through white landscapes and winter sports? Are you a foodie who likes to sample flavors from each place you visit? Trikala, Elati and Pertouli will not disappoint you.

Once you’re settled in, you can start your day either by falling headlong into strolling around the city, or you can regroup and make your plans at Petit Dejeuner. At this little shop you’ll get a taste of French bistro while you get your strength and ideas while sipping well-made coffee and eating delicious pastries and sandwiches. The first walk is worth taking in the old quarter of Trikala, Varousi, where the Turkish houses of the 17th and 18th century with their unique and colourful architecture dominate. If you wander through the narrow alleys you will come out at the characteristic clock of Trikala and from there you can climb the stone tower of the clock and look at the city from above. If you still want to experience it on two wheels you can cycle by the river and cross the city along with the Lithaios River.

But because the beauties of Trikala are not only within the city, just 18 km away is the mansion village of Pyli. There nature comes and blends harmoniously with human intervention, which goes back to 1514. Until 1936, this was the only crossing from Thessaly to Epirus, and it connects the 2 aforementioned mountains. But walks need good food too. That’s why you can visit Katogi for lamb kleftiko, prasotria, kebab on the spit to the sounds of rebetiko, artisanal or folk songs.

The three days of the Christmas holidays have just begun. The route through the spruce-covered slopes and meadows to the ski resort of Pertoulion will remain in your mind as one of the most impressive ones you can do on your trip. Upon reaching the ski resort you can play and/or exercise by putting on your skis, or simply enjoy a coffee in a chalet. Descending from Pertouli, the stop is at Panagiotis Tavern for excellent cuisine, mainly meat, with an amazing snowy view.

Chalets, guesthouses, cafes, restaurants, taverns, jeeps, crowds, people, music. This is Elati in mountainous Trikala. A village drowned in fir trees which offer opportunities to you who like mountain walks. And because every walk whets the appetite, a visit to the tavern, Anogi (3 km outside the village) and the taste of mushrooms and homemade grass pie (among others) will make you forget that, in a few hours, you will have to return to your daily routine.


Especially during the holiday season, when people are more relaxed and the days of stay are longer, an excursion to Evritania can satisfy every mood: That of partying, family moments and contact with nature. Whatever category you belong to, you will surely find something that will satisfy your three-day trip.
The “Switzerland of Greece” as Evritania has been called (and not unfairly) has its own centre. And the name of it is Karpenisi. From there you set off for the ski resort at Velouchi , a must activity for winter sports enthusiasts or just for those who enjoy spending time next to those who descend the white slopes on their skis. Also from Karpenisi the road to the gorges and rivers of the prefecture starts. Rafting in the icy rivers (the Karpenisiotis, the Trikeriotis), canyoning in the steep gorges (their favourite route is the one leading to the Black Cave) and trekking on the steep mountain slopes. If you have not visited “Pantavrechi” even once then it is worth it to have an experience in nature that will take you to another world.

Attention! Keep the above notes, for extreme sports in the nature of the area when you come back in the spring or even in the summer months as the authorities recommend avoiding activities in the gorges and rivers during the winter months.

Don’t be nervous. Evritania has so many places to visit that the three days of Easter will be gone without you realizing it. But before that happens, it’s worth riding along the banks of Karpenisiotis and around the village of Koryshades, crossing impressive bridges and splashing in the river’s waters. Also a journey into history and tradition is always welcome. You can visit the Museum of National Resistance in the village of Koryschades, the Historical and Folklore Museum of Domnista and the monastery of Panagia Proussiotissa, just before the village of Prousos. Finally, a walk from Agrafa and the fjord of Central Greece, Lake Kremasta would complete your excursion in the most perfect way.

Where do you go on an empty stomach? At the tavern Horiotiko Nasiopoulos in Neo Mikro Chorio you can taste, among other things, pies, freshly cut salads, local meat, roasts and stews accompanied by homemade tsipouro after you have been sitting comfortably on the couches watching the traffic. In Oichalia you eat liver with caramelized onions, pasta pie with tsalafuti, white bean soup and goat stew (among other things) after being dazzled by the view over Lake Kremasta.


Just 190 km from Athens, Kalavryta has become one of the most popular destinations for two or three days in the last decade (and more). And the Lights of 2023 could be no exception. From the village’s storied history to the establishment of the ski resort in 1988 and from the cog railway that terminates here to the village’s main pedestrian street, Kalavryta has a lot to offer anyone who makes it this far. Among the must-visit attractions in Kalavryta are the Municipal Museum of the Kalavritan Holocaust, the Mansion of Paleologina, the Holy Monastery of Agia Lavra (5 km southwest of Kalavryta) and the landmark of the region, the historic monastery of Mega Cave, about 10 km northeast of the town. Carved in the opening of a large natural cave in Helmos, at an altitude of 900 metres above the gorge of Vouraikos.
The region is endowed with landscapes and natural attractions of rare beauty. A typical example is the Vouraikos Gorge. The ride on the legendary cogwheel that crosses almost the entire gorge can only be deeply engraved in the memory of anyone who chooses it. At 25 km from Kalavryta you will meet the spot where many horror movies could have been filmed with countless plane trees covering the area of Planitero and the gurgling waters of Aroanios blending harmoniously with the… vampiric scenery. Serene lakes, impressive stalactites and imposing stalagmites await visitors to the Cave of the Lakes for an immersive spectacle. If you’re a keen skier, the place for you is the most popular ski resort in the Peloponnese, that of Helmos.

And after all that you make a visit to the place that gourmets have been visiting for almost 50 years. The tavern “Varvitsiotis“. There you will taste among other things Vlachiko, gardubakia, sausage and well-cooked meat of the hour.

Mountainous Arcadia

In the lap of Mainalos there are villages that stand out for the hospitality of their people and the combination of natural life and relaxation. At a distance of almost 2 hours from Athens, the first stop is in Vytina. Guesthouses, taverns and cafes make up a cosmopolitan but noisy scene (especially during busy periods). Then you take the road to “Khangasto Chorio” or Lagadia, which is built at an altitude of 850 to 1050 meters and on a hillside. Lagadia has been classified as a traditional preserved settlement and you will see many traditional stone buildings.
Built between two slopes, Dimitsana is one of the largest villages in the area. The main street is often crowded with people, either heading to the Lousios River or to the monasteries in the area. Even within the village itself, however, you can still wander around and explore the old stone mansions. Just 9km further down, the village of Stemnitsa is designated as a traditional settlement and its narrow streets make it difficult for weekend excursionists. Elliniko is a gateway to extreme sports on the river but also a meeting point on Sunday lunchtime for those who want to taste meat on the spit.
The historic village of Karytaina is one of the most picturesque of the region. Characterized as a traditional settlement since 1978, the village has stone-built mansions, cobbled streets and many attractions, such as the medieval castle and many Byzantine churches. The old ruined bridge of Karytaina is also worth seeing, located just below the tall new bridge.

Food is a key element of a successful excursion. So you can make a stop at Pantelis’ Tsipouradiko in the centre of Vytina, at Maniatis in Lagadia, at the traditional café Senousia in Stemnitsa, while if you find yourself at the central square in Elliniko you can eat traditional cuisine at Taloumis’ tavern.